2756 Tasting Notes

67

I have to apologize for the significant backlog of notes I’ll be posting shortly (although I may not write too much about everything) – I’ve been drinking plenty of tea but have been so swamped with work I haven’t had the time to write anything! At least I’m almost done one annoying part of my project now… after putting in about 20 hours this weekend in an attempt to get it over with.

Anyhow, I won this from Della Terra from their Facebook page! Thanks! I’m not sure it’s necessarily a tea I’d have picked out myself, but I’m eager to purchase a bunch of Try Me packs, so it’s great to eliminate one more tea from the possible bunch I haven’t tried (pretty much everything).

Based on the description of this tea, I was pretty much expecting an earl grey, and was not disappointed. As this looked to be a CTC tea, I stuck to the recommended 2 minute infusion to prevent bitterness, however I’ll admit that I loaded my first thermos-ful with milk and sugar as that’s how I prefer my earl greys (well… I prefer straight earl grey creams over sweetened earl grey with milk, but I felt it would do). Anyhow, I appeared to be correct in my assumption. This pretty much tastes like a decent earl grey, not too heavy on the bergamot, and with a fairly nice base (or at least, it did its job well and wasn’t astringent/bitter). I’m not sure if the orange bits really add anything (I wish they had!)

I managed to make quite a nice second infusion of this one as well, steeped for 2 or 2.5 minutes (can’t recall), but discarded the leaves after that.

Thanks for the chance to sample this tea, Della Terra! Now pretty please put an awesome special on so I can go crazy ordering teas? :D

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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34
drank Blueberry Fruit Tea by Teavivre
2756 tasting notes

Wooooaaaaah. This is way too tart for me. I thought 3.5 minutes would be enough to tame the hibiscus, but apparently not! I can tell that there is a berry flavour in here too, but mostly, TART. I can see this being ok sweetened/as an iced tea, but this is not for me, sadly.

Thanks for sending some too me, CHAroma!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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88
drank Butterbeer by 52teas
2756 tasting notes

Sample sipdown! Although this one’s so tasty, I am sad about it :( It really does taste much like root beer, and the licorice blends in so well that even people who hate such flavours won’t mind it. I hope this one is brought back every now and then, as it’s such a different blend.

I think I’m at the point of having had enough/too much flavoured black for the evening though… my tongue is loving the flavour but my stomach is rebelling. Although, that could be the way-too-old meat I just thawed and ate from the freezer…. Uh oh…

(PS Thanks again CHAroma for giving me some of this delicious tea!)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec
Sil

I have a pack of this as well. Heh if you ever have a craving

Kittenna

Not your favourite?

Sil

Oh I enjoy it but there are others I over more. I mostly bought this to send to a friend heh.

Alphakitty

I want to try this one, but in my head Butterbeer is like a warm, buttery cream soda, not rootbeer, and I just don’t want to tarnish my perfect HP mental image!

ashmanra

My daughter just sent me a photo from HP theme park of her drinking their Butterbeer! She is vacationing there this week and seemed to love the Butterbeer.

Kittenna

Yeah Alphakitty, it could potentially ruin your mental image. I don’t personally think of this as Butterbeer, just a tasty flavoured tea.

Ashmanra – so jealous!!!

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60
drank Thai Chai by Adagio Teas
2756 tasting notes

Onto some more samples from CHAroma tonight as I await trick-or-treaters!

I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting with this one, but I was initially quite put off by a very soapy aroma from both the dry and steeped tea. It dissipated after the tea sat a while, but kind of grossed me out a bit. Other than that, the aroma reminded me a lot of Zhena’s Gypsy Tea Coconut Chai; sweet and coconutty, with a hint of exotic spiciness. I think I can also smell the lemongrass.

Unfortunately, I’m getting soapiness as a flavour as well. The flavours otherwise strongly remind me of the above mentioned coconut chai, which I adore, but the soapiness is unbearable for me. I really have no idea where it’s coming from; this was sent in its original packet so I doubt there’s flavour contamination. Sometimes I wonder, though, whether old coconut goes soapy after a while…

Either way, I really want to like this tea, and I am adoring what I can taste of it and the delicious mix of lemongrass, chai spices, and coconut, but I can’t get past the soapiness. (I’m trying to!) Perhaps it would go away if I sweetened/added milk to the tea, but my hopes aren’t particularly high. I may give that a shot later, though.

Thanks for passing some of this one along, CHAroma!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Rebecca Lynn

Huh, I never tasted soapiness, that’s strange! I like it a lot with milk and sugar.

Buy the Stars

I have a sample of this that I keep forgetting to try! I was attracted to it because I loved the idea of a masala chai with lemongrass and coconut, but that’s too bad about the soapiness. Flavour contamination might have happened on Adagio’s end, maybe?

Kittenna

Yeah, I don’t know, it was very strongly soapy to me, and way too much to be the infuser or something (also, I usually just rinse them with water anyhow). I have enough to try again. I really wonder if it was an ingredient going off…

Arison – I got part of a sample packet from CHAroma, who didn’t seem to note any soapiness, so I’m not sure where it’s coming from. It’s pretty unpleasant though. Thankfully it reduced a bit as the tea cooled, and I got through the cup, but it wasn’t as nice as I would have liked.

bookshark

Having just finished off a sample packet of this, I just want to validate your soapy feeling. Yours is the only tasting note I saw that mentions this, which was odd to me since that was basically my only feeling about this tea. I tend to drink all of my tea without milk or sugar, but I added milk to this and I can confirm it helped a lot. A bit of honey helped, too.

Kittenna

Thanks bookshark! I think I still have some of this left, so may try that. I feel like the soapiness might be from the coconut going off; I have slowly been noticing a trend where nearly every tea that has a funky aroma/flavour, be it soapy or rancid/pungent, contains coconut. And usually with such teas, there are many people who do not notice those flavours, which makes me think that the thought that an ingredient has gone a bit off is likely.

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84

Bleh. In spite of a 3-minute infusion, this one definitely tastes bitter and oversteeped. I wonder if little leaf fragments got through and made it so. Sigh. I was hoping for a tastier thermos of tea than this one. There are hints of buttery/caramelly flavours, but I prefer Pot O’ Gold, I think.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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91

I thiiiink this is the one I brewed up today. Just threw it in the thermos. It tasted good, but not mind-blowing or anything, but I suspect this one really needs to be a) attempted gong-fu style, and b) consumed more quickly after harvest.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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Ummm… I had some of this as a sample from…. someone…. possibly CHAroma? Thanks!

Anyhow, brewed up last night (it had the same sort of berry scent as 52teas’ Forest Berry Silver Needle!!), but didn’t drink until the morning. And apparently… I really liked it, as I drank the whole thing and have none left to try now, haha. But yes, it was quite tasty, and I look forward to being able to properly rate a cup of it! (And by that I mean, drink more of it, of course.)

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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87

Last night when I was rifling through my box from LiberTEAS to find my Cherry Cheesecake Genmaicha sample, I came across this little gem and instantly developed a craving. Which I didn’t satisfy until the morning, when I actually remembered to drink some of the tea. It was delicious. And it still is, cold and everything. I really need to pick up some more Earl Grey Cream of some variety; unless there’s some hiding in a sample box that I’ve forgotten about, I have almost none left. The horror!

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94

In my earlier tea-obsession days, before I realized the joys of sampling many teas, I bought a 100g tin of this. Since then, I’ve massively regretted it, not because I don’t like the tea, but because 100g is an awful lot to finish off before it goes stale when your tea preferences are ever-changing and ever-curious! Anyhow, it occurred to me last night that I should make a cup of this to use some up, so I did! Of course, it was super super late (aka morning), and I ended up going to sleep before even touching it. Fast-forward to when I woke up and sampled the variety of cold teas by my bedside. I tried this one, and couldn’t remember for the life of me what it was… but I thought it tasted like Cantaloupe & Cream! Even though I knew I hadn’t brewed that up super recently. Anyways, it did finally occur to me that it was this tea, and then I tasted light strawberry instead of cantaloupe, but I was reminded that I really must try a straight silver needle tea, because it’s clearly the common thread between those two teas, and I really, really like it!

Anyhow, I’m rambling. I’ve had a bad day filled with new project deadlines and endless sample grinding and I’m tired and drinking cold tea. At least it’s tasty cold tea.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 15 sec
Ellyn

Hope today is a better day!

Kittenna

Thanks! Today has been a tired day, but otherwise not too bad :)

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86

Mmmmmmm. Wanted Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha tonight, but decided it would be better to go through some samples I have instead of getting closer to finishing off my beloved half-empty bag (I think I have two marshmallow treat samples, and one of this). I can’t taste a whole lot of cherry here, but I definitely feel like I can taste the creamy cheesy tang of cheesecake, and it’s quite delicious. If this came back, I’d buy it too!!

Thanks to LiberTEAS for passing a sample of this one on to me :)

ETA: Oh Cherry Cheesecake Genmaicha, you remain delicious even after sitting out for nearly 24 hours. swoon :P

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec
tea-sipper

What did you find was the best time & temp for the marshmallow? I have a couple cups left of my sample and the one cup I made didn’t seem to turn out right…

Kittenna

I used the same parameters as I have here, actually! 3 minutes (any more and the first infusion does get bitter) and 82C since it’s a green. Seems to work fabulously for me, and gets out lots of flavour while preventing bitterness. Typically I’d steep a green for only 2 minutes, but this one seems good with 3.

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Bio

I have always been a tea fan (primarily herbals and Japanese greens/oolongs) but in the last year or so, tea has become increasingly more appealing as not only a delicious, calming drink, but as a relatively cheap, healthy reward or treat to give myself when I deserve something. I should clarify that, however; the reward is expanding my tea cupboard, not drinking tea – I place no restrictions on myself in terms of drinking anything from my cupboard as that would defeat my many goals!

My DavidsTea addiction was born in late 2011, despite having spent nearly a year intentionally avoiding their local mall location (but apparently it was just avoiding the inevitable!). I seem to have some desire to try every tea they’ve ever had, so much of my stash is from there, although I’ve recently branched out and ordered from numerous other companies.

I like to try and drink all my teas unaltered, as one of the main reasons I’m drinking tea other than for the flavour is to be healthy and increase my water intake without adding too many calories! I’ve found that the trick in this regard is to be very careful about steeping time, as most teas are quite pleasant to drink straight as long as they haven’t been oversteeped. However, I tend to be forgetful (particularly at work) when I don’t set a timer, resulting in a few horrors (The Earl’s Garden is not so pleasant after, say, 7+ minutes of steeping).

I’m currently trying to figure out which types of teas are my favourites. Herbals are no longer at the top; oolongs have thoroughly taken over that spot, with greens a reasonably close second. My preference is for straight versions of both, but I do love a good flavoured oolong (flavoured greens are really hit or miss for me). Herbals I do love iced/cold-brewed, but I drink few routinely (Mulberry Magic from DavidsTea being a notable exception). I’m learning to like straight black teas thanks to the chocolatey, malty, delicious Laoshan Black from Verdant Tea, and malty, caramelly flavoured blacks work for me, but I’m pretty picky about anything with astringency. Lately I’ve found red rooibos to be rather medicinal, which I dislike, but green rooibos and honeybush blends are tolerable. I haven’t explored pu’erh, mate, or guayasa a great deal (although I have a few options in my cupboard).

I’ve decided to institute a rating system so my ratings will be more consistent. Following the smiley/frowny faces Steepster gives us:

100: This tea is amazing and I will go out of my way to keep it in stock.

85-99: My core collection (or a tea that would be, if I was allowing myself to restock everything!) Teas I get cravings for, and drink often.

75-84: Good but not amazing; I might keep these in stock sparingly depending on current preferences.

67-74: Not bad, I’ll happily finish what I have but probably won’t ever buy it again as there’s likely something rated more highly that I prefer.

51-66: Drinkable and maybe has some aspect that I like, but not really worth picking up again.

34-50: Not for me, but I can see why others might like it. I’ll make it through the cup and maybe experiment with the rest to get rid of it.

0-33: It’s a struggle to get through the cup, if I do at all. I will not willingly consume this one again, and will attempt to get rid of the rest of the tea if I have any left.

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